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Dr. Gabriel Possenti Sindhunata, SJ, or just simply call him Romo Sindu, an ordained Catholic priest who is also a writer, essayist, and journalist, he is best known for his cultural columns and soccer commentaries. In 1992 Sindhunata graduated in Germany with a PhD in philosophy, and he currently works in Yogyakarta as editor of a Catholic cultural studies magazine, Basis. Sindhunata’s first novel, the highly poetic Anak Bajang Menggiring Angin (The Little Runt Herding the Wind) (1983), is closely based on the Ramayana cycle of tales. However, thematically Anak Bajang is quite innovative, reflecting an understated commitment to social and political reform. The key innovation in Sindhunata’s novel is the emphasis placed on representing the marginal figures in the stories of the Ramayana cycle: the monkeys, the demons, and the ogres. In the wayang today, the monkeys are usually regarded as symbolic representations of the Indonesian rakyat. This symbolism is embraced in Anak Bajang, with the addition of ogres and demons, who are also treated as representations of the rakyat. Considering that in the early 1980s the New Order’s heavily Javanised cultural hegemony was at the height of its strength, shifting the wayang’s ksatria-oriented focus into a rakyat-oriented framing is a significant philosophical transformation, which carries important social and political resonances.


Air Kejujuran
Poetry Collection
218 page(s), Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Putri Cina
(The Chinese Princess)
304 page(s), Gramedia Pustaka Utama

In the Headlines

The ‘conversion’ of Sindhunata

Relindonesia / What Media Says
Aug 30, 2014


Personal Blog / What Media Says
Jul 08, 2014

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